It's reckoned that you should redesign your website every 2-3 years to keep up to date. However, redesigning a whole website can be a costly and time-consuming process. So some may question if it's really worth it and ask "Do I need a new website?" While we agree that you should refresh your website every couple of years, we believe there's a compromise.
A flexible marketing tool
As a designer in his twenties, it’s hard for me to imagine what it must have been like for businesses trying to market their products or services without a website. Having to rely on print, radio or – if you could afford it – television advertising meant you had to spend large sums of money on a tiny yellow pages ad or a 30 second commercial that allowed you to get across one key message or a quick summary of your business.
Then websites came along and changed everything. Easily affordable and visible to millions across the world, a website now means you can go into great detail about everything you do and really sell your services properly. Not only that, you can show photos and videos, write blog articles, offer downloads and let customers send you messages.
But there’s one key feature with websites that makes them stand out as one of the best tools for marketing. With a printed brochure, once it’s published and out there in the public, you can’t go back and change it. But with a website, you can.
Websites are fluid and, depending on how they are built, can be updated quickly and easily, and this is something that businesses should take more advantage of. In the same way that you wouldn’t keep running the same print advert every time, your website should regularly evolve and change. However, it’s not always necessary to jump in and spend thousands of pounds on a brand new website. Sometimes a few small changes can make enough of a difference for people to notice.
Where to start
The homepage is essentially the storefront for a website and usually the best place to start. Since it will usually have several sections of content previewing things like featured products or the latest blog posts, the layout can be moved around, changing the order depending on what you want to highlight to visitors.
The way things are presented can also be changed, such as changing a slider on the homepage to a video background or using vector icons instead of images. Depending on how the website is built, the rest of the pages and general style of the website could be modified with similar changes to give it a new feel without having to rebuild the whole website.
Not only will updating your website impress returning visitors, it will also keep Google happy. While nobody knows exactly how their algorithms work, a key factor that is often mentioned is how dynamic a website is. So updating your content and keeping the website active will help with ranking on search engines.
A bit of a refresh
We regularly go through our clients’ websites and identify any that we think could do with a bit of a spruce up. We also keep an eye out for new plugins and design trends that we can incorporate into our clients’ websites to keep them looking modern and stand out from the competition.
Since we use page builders to build our websites, it means we have a lot of control over the style of the website, and we can make changes quickly and easily to individual pages or templates. Sometimes it will be a few simple changes, other times we change the style of the whole website, such as a recent refresh we did for Circyl.
So while you’re busy running the business and coming up with new ideas for marketing, don’t forget about your website. Every few months, ask yourself "Do I need a new website?" and decide whether it's time for a complete redesign or if there's anything you can do to spruce it up a bit for now.